“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.” – John Muir Most undergraduates look forward to their summer break to jump-start their career with an internship, catch up on sleep or even take a vacation. While these are all great things, Ashik Ashokan and Ashok Kumar are getting ready to tackle the highest volcano in Asia. The pair make up a charity collective known as Heart2Climb and are preparing themselves to scale Mountain Damavand in Iran this July to raise funds for theChildren’s Cancer Foundation, which provides aid to over 2,000 children and their families in Singapore.
Imagine climbing a mountain every day. Imagine doing that as a child.
The pair draw parallels to the struggles the children face on a daily basis to that of climbing a mountain every day. Through the climb, they aim to spread the message that the struggles we face are merely a fraction of what this children go through.
Things We Learned From the Dynamic Duo
Inspire-SG spoke to the inspirational duo, on their upcoming expedition. Here are a few things we can learn from them:
1. Prepare and Seek out Mentors
Doing your homework, getting the right training and seeking the right influences are important steps to prepping yourself to trek your own mountains.
As this isn’t the pair’s first expedition, they know not to underestimate the challenges the thin air in high altitude brings (the highest point is over 25 times the height of One Raffles Place – Singapore’s tallest building). To prepare for this uphill endeavour, they have been undergoing a strict conditioning regimen amidst their busy school schedule in Singapore. An embarkation to India ensues where they will intensify their training for a month before the actual climb.
For valuable advice, direction and counsel they have sought the mentorship of Dr Kumaran Rasappan. He was the first Singaporean to climb Mount Everest for a charitable cause.
2. What is your Inspiration?
Find your inspiration and it will help you achieve your goals.
The pair draw inspiration from a cause much greater than themselves. Their belief in the cause is the fuel that drives them. This belief pushes them well past what they think is possible and keeps them focused.
“Many of us have had a healthy and happy childhood and as such cannot understand the struggles that children with childhood cancer face. We aim to highlight their struggles.”, Ashik says.
To ensure that the full extent of climbing a mountain is felt, Heart2Climb will climb on their own, without assistance of high-altitude guides or porters. They are determined to climb through their own efforts to draw parallels to the difficulties children with cancer go through.
Think about the challenges you face in life, then think again. Then ask yourself, is it really that bad to begin with and, what can you do about it?
As with many things, it boils down to a matter of perspective. We are wired to think about ourselves first and think that the world revolves around our challenges. So, take a moment to think of the kids and donate to their cause. We have!